Honored as Patriotic Employer - The University of South Alabama and its health system recently were honored by the U.S. Department of Defense with its "Patriotic Employer" award, given by the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). The award is given to employers for "contributing to national security and protecting liberty and freedom by supporting employee participation in America's National Guard and reserve forces." Shown left to right are: Rynn Toifel of the USA department of obstetrics and gynecology; Dr. William F. Kringel, retired colonel in the Army Reserve and ESGR ombudsman; USA President Gordon Moulton; Dr. Sam Strada, dean of the USA College of Medicine; retired Navy Capt. Hal Pierce; Lou Lartigue, retired Army lieutenant colonel and president of the South Alabama Veterans Council; and Lt. Col. David LaValley, chair of USA's Air Force Studies program (AFROTC). Dr. Kathy Porter, formerly of the USA department of obstetrics and gynecology, nominated USA for supporting her efforts in the Army Reserve. Dr. Ronald Franks, USA vice president for health sciences, was also honored (not pictured).